Does God punish whole nations as well as individuals? I don't understand how He could do that, because even the worst countries must have some good people in them, don't they?
The Bible certainly teaches that God judges nations as well as individuals when they deliberately turn their backs on Him and ignore His moral laws. The Bible says, “He will judge the nations … crushing the rulers of the whole earth” (Psalm 110:6). The Bible gives us numerous examples of this truth–even in the life of ancient Israel, the nation through which God would bring salvation to the world. The Prophet Jeremiah, for example, repeatedly urged the people of his day to repent of their idolatry and immorality–and repeatedly they rejected his message. His words of warning could almost be directed at our own time: “They have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 8:12). Eventually that nation fell to an outside invader.
At the same time, the Bible reminds us of another truth: God is merciful, and He gives us far more opportunities to repent than we deserve. The Bible says, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love” (Psalm 145:8).
Pray for our nation, and pray for our world as well. Our greatest need–as individuals and as a nation–is to turn to God and seek His forgiveness and mercy. May that begin in your own life as you open your heart to Christ.